Stalking and harassment
Stalking and harassment is unwanted behaviour and attention that is repeated and causes someone distress or alarm. Stalking must be taken seriously, and research suggests it has been a factor in 94% of domestic homicides. It includes someone following a person, contacting or attempting to contact a person by any means, monitoring a person’s use of the internet, email, or other forms of digital communication, interfering with a person’s property, and watching or spying on a person.
The case of Alice Ruggles highlights the very real danger of stalking and emphasizes why all cases of stalking and harassment need to be taken seriously.
Paladin provides six golden rules for anybody experiencing stalking:
- Report it as early as possible to the police and tell others what is happening
- Ensure you get good practical advice – contact us or call the National Stalking Helpline
- Proactive evidence collection – keep all the evidence
- Overview of what is happening – keep a diary
- Risk Checklist – complete the Stalking Risk and Needs screening questions
- Trust your instinct
You can find out more about support and services available for victims of domestic abuse and stalking harassment on the website here.
Further reading and resources
- Exploring the Relationship Between Stalking and Homicide – Suzy Lamplugh Trust, 2017. The results of a six-month study by the Homicide Research Group at the University of Gloucestershire suggest there is a strong correlation between some key stalking behaviours and homicide, and that identifying the intention behind the stalking, and then managing the fixation, may reveal opportunities to save lives.
- Editorial: When do repeated intrusions become stalking? – Rosemary Purcell, Michele Pathé, and Paul Mullen, from the Journal Of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology Vol. 15, Iss. 4, 2004. This link will allow you to purchase this article. Part of their conclusion:
The results indicate that continuation of unwanted intrusions beyond a threshold of 2 weeks is associated with a more intrusive, threatening and psychologically damaging course of harassment. Recognition that 2 weeks is the watershed between brief, self-limiting instances of intrusiveness and protracted stalking allows an opportunity for early intervention to assist victims of this crime.
- Key Questions to Consider in Stalking Cases – Sheridan and Roberts, 2011. This is a study of 1,565 victims of stalking. This research looks at the indicators of risk, profiles of perpetrators, questions that police should consider, levels of injuries victims suffered and more.
- Stalking or harassment – College of Policing, Authorised Professional Practice, 2021. This page includes advice and information.
- Stalking and Harassment – the Crown Prosecution Service guidance gives an overview of the issues of stalking, information on the law and legislation and recommendations on Restraining Orders.
- Staking DASH (S-DASH) includes 12 risk-screening questions as a follow-up to a DASH, which specifically allows the assessor/practitioner to explore the issues of stalking and harassment in more detail.
- Screening Assessment for Stalking & Harassment (SASH) is a tool for assessing risk with 13-16 questions. It is separate from DASH and S-DASH.
- Digital stalking: A guide to technology risks for victims – Jennifer Parry, 2012. This guide contains a lot of useful information regarding digital stalking, however, as it is nearly 10 years old it is recommended you utilise our Staying Safe Online page for more up-to-date technology advice.
Additional support guidance
We need your help to continue our work reducing the risk of domestic abuse. Find out more about how you can get involved!